Big Brother 17 cast member Audrey Middleton had a long journey to get on the show, but before that she had to walk down an even tougher road coming to terms with who she is. Although her father says Audrey has just always been Audrey, before coming on Big Brother 2015, she was not really out very much about being transgender in a public way.

Big Brother 17 Episode  (1)

As the first ever out transgender person on Big Brother USA, Audrey wanted to be an inspiration to others who have struggled with gender identity. Despite the not so great way she went out, and her hardcore manipulative game play, we still think Audrey did accomplish that goal in her own way.

As Audrey told Steve at one point, she doesn’t even consider herself transgender. She thinks of herself as just being female. Honestly, watching Audrey every day on the Big Brother Live Feeds, we never thought of her as anything else. The other Houseguests certainly never treated her any other way, which was such a great, positive message to those out there struggling with their own transitions or gender identity issues.

In addition, Audrey didn’t use her historic status as the first transgender Houseguest on Big Brother USA to lean on. She could have probably coasted for weeks just based on the (ridiculous but true) fact that the other Houseguests might be nervous to evict her and risk people thinking it was because of who she was. Instead, Audrey jumped right in and started swimming with the sharks. Hell, she actually tried to be the biggest, deadliest one — it just all backfired on her in the end. Audrey was eliminated because she broke the trust of her allies, and she was a threat to others in the house. She was booted from the game for all the right reasons, and it had nothing to do with her gender identity.

Role models don’t always have to be perfect. Nor do they always have to be likeable. What they need to be is relatable. Audrey just gives us a very normal example of a person who just happened to be born male but is now female, screwing up in a silly reality TV game just like anyone else would. She’s just one more Big Brother player who made the wrong moves and ended up on the block because of it. Even better, in a way, is that Audrey will probably be more remembered for how badly she mucked up her game — and her crazy antics at the end — than for being the first transgender player. That is actually a good thing.

According to her family, Audrey has always been very special, and they are proud of her courage in opening up to the other Big Brother players and millions of viewers. They also defend Audrey’s decision to play the game the way she did, even if it didn’t work out the way she wanted.

According to Mattew Boyer of BigBrotherNetwork.com, who just finished doing a post-eviction interview with her, Audrey is sorry about how things unfolded her last few days in the house. We hope that viewers out there can forgive her meltdown and continue to respect Audrey for her bravery, and her boldness in playing the game hard — even if she made the wrong moves.

No one can accuse ever accuse Audrey of being a floater, or just sitting back and letting her allies work the house while she coasted along for the ride. Her full speed ahead game play may have been what got her evicted, but at least she wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. We’d rather have a 100 Audreys in the house than one pointless floater who slides through to the final three without doing a damn thing to earn it.

Audrey may not have been the smartest player, and we weren’t fond of her self-imposed exile and rule-breaking at the end, but we can still applaud her for all the positives she did bring to Big Brother 17. We wish her the best for a new life ahead out and proud, with an amazing family to support her.

Big Brother 17 Audrey Middleton Photo Gallery
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